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20th annual Eagle Watch Celebration set for Feb. 21-22

Feb. 2, 2015

​Culver, OR - The 20th annual Eagle Watch celebration will be Feb. 21-22, 2015, at Round Butte Overlook Park and The Cove Palisades State Park in central Oregon. The free celebration honors eagles and other raptors that live in the Lake Billy Chinook area. Hosted by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), Portland General Electric (PGE), and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, the event features activities to explore the natural and cultural significance of the birds.

"This is a fun, free weekend event perfect for the entire family," said Event Coordinator and OPRD Park Ranger Erin Bennett. "Visitors will have the opportunity to glimpse our resident bald eagles and golden eagles, as well as learn about the significance of the eagle to tribal culture and traditions."

New this year: Students in 4th-12th grade can enter an Eagle Art Contest through Feb. 16. Winners will be announced at lunch on Feb. 21 and their artwork will be on display during the celebration. Artwork can be dropped off at the Cove Palisades State Park or at the Chamber of Commerce offices in LaPine, Sisters, Redmond, Prineville, Madras or Bend. Contest rules are posted at covepalisades.wordpress.com.

The two-day celebration runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22. Festivities will be in "Eagle Village" at Round Butte Overlook Park's visitor center, 10 miles west of Madras.

Attendees can meet Aquila, a rehabilitated golden eagle, and a great horned owl. Children are invited to build a bluebird house (on Saturday) or a bird feeder (on Sunday). Wild Birds Unlimited and Madras Garden Center will demonstrate how to create a backyard refuge and enjoy bird watching year-round.

Guided eagle viewing tours will take place each day; tour shuttles depart from Round Butte Overlook Park. Tour participants will be able to glimpse eagles from two overlooks. Wildlife biologists have recorded 11 bald eagle pairs and nine golden eagle pairs living in the area year round, and migrant bald eagles join the resident birds from January through March. PGE will also offer a daily tour of PGE's Salmon Hatchery Facilities; sign up at the entrance tables.

To cap off the event, the Quartz Creek Drummers and Dancers will provide a special presentation of tribal drumming and dancing sponsored by Warm Springs Power and Water Enterprises at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission and parking at PGE's Round Butte Overlook Park is free. An Oregon State Parks day-use permit is required to park vehicles at The Cove Palisades State Park or Smith Rock State Park.

For information, call Parks Information at 800-551-6949 or The Cove Palisades State Park at 541-546-3412 or visit oregonstateparks.org. Information will also be posted on the Cove Palisades blog, The Cove Rattler, at covepalisades.wordpress.com.